Academic Curriculum

‘The curriculum is regularly reviewed and adapted as required so that it is relevant to pupils’ interests and engages their interests. As a result, pupils make good progress from their starting points.’ – ISI Inspection Report, 2023 

A forward-thinking, modern approach to education that places every child at the centre

A forward-thinking, modern approach to education that places every child at the centre

Our child-centred approach to learning which is adapted to the age and stage of a child’s development over the four years of Prep School life, develops motivated critical thinkers who make the most of every opportunity.   

We strive to develop remarkable individuals who will thrive, and therefore succeed, in an ever-changing world. In preparation for their future pathway, Berkhamsted Prep provides daily opportunities for children to collaborate with peers and enhance their leadership, creativity, and investigation skills.   

To give every child the best chance at success, we foster a safe and stimulating environment across our classrooms. We actively involve our children in building a positive learning environment by celebrating and reinforcing effective learning strategies and encouraging positive attitudes. Relationships enable us to feel connected to others and valued as part of a community. Therefore, establishing open and nurturing relationships with our children throughout the Prep ensures a safe and comfortable environment for learning, where children will embrace challenges and take risks in their learning. This positive learning environment helps children to focus and feel comfortable in the classroom, enabling them to challenge themselves and to do their best learning.   


Every day and every lesson aim to introduce something new or make connections with previous learning. We keep the learning process exciting and purposeful so that the children are motivated to achieve and develop. With effective evaluation and assessment of individual starting points, lessons are designed to match personal learning needs that are neither too challenging, which could cause anxiety, nor too easy which may lead to boredom.   

Our dynamic curriculum is constantly evolving to meet the unique needs and interests of every child. It blends the teaching of core content with activities that enhance pupil’s social, emotional, and physical development. The curriculum prioritises opportunities for pupils to develop life skills, critical thinking skills, and opportunities to become fluent in technology, media, and the creative arts. Simplified neuroscientific concepts and metacognitive strategies feature in the curriculum to develop self-aware learners who have agency over their education. These skills ensure pupils develop into remarkable individuals who are well-prepared for their next step into Senior School and is already building the foundations for life beyond Berkhamsted.   

Science at Prep
English at Prep
Maths at Prep
Food and Nutrition at Prep
Sport at Prep

A learning-powered school

At Berkhamsted Prep, we educate with lifelong learning in mind. Our learning-powered approach to education encourages pupils to cultivate self-reflective learning habits and skills that help them understand how they learn and what they can do to improve.  

By handing our children the reigns to their learning at these early stages of their education so they have their own agency and can use their own voice, they become intrinsically motivated to work, learn, and adapt, wherever the future takes them.   

Our care for our students remains long after they have left the School – we want their time with us to set them up for a successful and happy future life. 

Our learning-powered approach has a positive impact on a daily basis. For example, our pupils: 

  • Ask intelligent questions to further their understanding
  • Can explain how different topics and subjects are linked to and rely on each other
  • Know how to listen actively and respond with compassion
  • Are able to spot patterns and identify the big picture as well as the fine detail
  • Appreciate the importance of planning ahead and reviewing progress regularly
  • Understand the different roles they need to play when working together as a team and know how to resolve conflict
  • Develop strategies that build resilience and view challenges and mistakes as valuable learning opportunities
  • The skills and habits learnt within BLP lead to independent learning and divergent thinking in our pupils.

We see that a learning-powered approach approach helps our pupils to focus and concentrate on their academic work with the ability to find several solutions for a problem.

Our pupils are the best examples of the tangible benefits of a learning-powered approach – if you would like to find out more, have a chat with them about it on your visit.

Why do we offer a learning-powered approach?

Estimates now suggest that two-thirds of current school pupils will end up working in roles that don’t yet exist. Teenagers today are expected to have had between 10-15 different jobs by the time they are 40.

Where focus exists concurrently, progress will be made. In addition, establishing the concept of ‘learnable intelligence’ will stimulate independent learning, which in turn will allow pupils to develop their resilience and flexibility when confronted with difficulty.

We believe these core skills will benefit our students as they move through the school and beyond, onto university or an apprenticeship then into the workplace.

Our chosen BLP dispositions

We have chosen dispositions which, between them, represent four areas of development:


Our chosen dispositions are:

  • Persevere Explore
  • Notice Plan
  • Question Review
  • Link Collaborate
  • Reason Listen

Each disposition is then further subdivided to provide our teachers with opportunities to provide targeted interventions to help each pupil develop their ability to become reflective, independent and interdependent learners.


Assessment is continuous at Berkhamsted Prep using research led approaches that take the form of:  

  • Diagnostic assessment (before learning)   
  • Formative assessment (during learning)   
  • Summative assessment (after learning)   

Feedback is an essential part of our learning cycle and helps develop pupils into independent, self-motivated learners.   

Through individualised feedback that promotes self-review, self-analysis, and self-improvement, children are encouraged to be resilient and adaptable. By learning to spot mistakes and how to improve, children become intrinsically motivated to achieve their best. As they prepare to progress to senior school, pupils are frequently encouraged to take control of their learning and identify areas where they need to improve, skills which are vital for success in future education and employment.   

We value our partnership with parents and invite you to attend regular learning review meetings across the year to discuss your child’s personal, social, emotional, and academic development.  

Additionally, we provide written feedback in the form of termly reports that highlight areas of success and improvement to support your child’s development.   



Open Events

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Value added is the name of the game: most enter the nursery at national standard, but by year 6 the vast majority are well beyond it, with many of them significantly above.

Pupils develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and resilience to a mature level, encouraged by the school’s focus on perseverance.

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